been having my sanity questioned quite a lot recently.
For someone who has recently discovered cycle speedway
this was to be entirely expected, but my newly-discovered
liking for hurtling round a shale track with no brakes
is not the source of the latest challenge to my state
of mind. It seems these days that simply being a cyclist
is enough to have people calling for the white coat.
number one is generally that cycling isn't safe. No-one
questions my desire to hurtle down a bit of singletrack
with nothing but a foam bonce protector between myself
and and an eternity of soup. But mention going anywhere
near a road in a city and a great sucking of teeth
invites itself upon you. Stranger still is the fact
that many people believe that cycling in the city
is dangerous because the drivers are so bad, and so
the solution is not to cycle, rather than sorting
the drivers out. After all, one should not usurp the
primacy of the motor vehicle.
second reason for not cycling is more prosaic. Why
use a bike when you have a car or public transport?
Using your own energy to get somewhere? Madness...
So let's look at my journey to work. At its shortest
2.5 miles which, despite all being uphill, is a 12
minute journey. My bus takes 15 minutes to get to
the centre of town. From where I have to walk another
10 minutes. Oh, and the stop nearest my house is 5
minutes walk away. And that's if the traffic is fairly
I get to approach something reaching fitness and not
sit on a bus with assorted coughing, wheezing and
compared to the car the time is pretty similar, I
don't have to sit in a traffic-jam slowly oozing into
trouser-busting lethargy or pay £15 to park
my car outside the door for the day.
option seems more attractive?